Kare kare is a popular recipe in the Philippines. It is always a part of the menu in most restaurants serving Filipino dishes.
Kare kare is usually made out of stewed oxtail and tripe in rich, creamy and thick peanut butter sauce mixed with vegetables such as green long beans, eggplant and bok choy or pechay.
This is then served with bagoong or savory shrimp paste.
However, like many famous dishes, it now has many variations. You can make it using pork, seafoods or you can make it plain vegan. Its your choice and preference.
When there are special occasions in the family and we would order take out foods from our favorite Filipino restaurant, this favorite dish is always a part of it aside from lechon kawali, bulalo, kinilaw na tuna malasugi, and steamed fish.
For this kare-kare recipe, I am using pork belly. I just cut it into cubes.
I had a hard time looking for a peanut butter intended for this cooking. Take note that when you are cooking this dish, you cannot use the sweetened peanut butter which are the usual display in supermarkets.
You can actually find peanut butter sauce for this recipe in the market. However, it is not an option for me in this time of pandemic so I just bought whole unflavored peanuts in the mall and use my food grinder to turn it into a peanut sauce.
It is not as smooth as I wanted to in a peanut sauce but I just go ahead and make it work.
You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:
- Pork belly -750 grams, cut into cubes
- Peanut butter sauce – you can use the unflavored or savory option but not the sweetened one
- Pechay or bok choy leaves
- Long green beans
- Annato powder or asuete powder – this is for the orange/y color of this dish
- Ground Black Pepper
- Corn flour
How to cook kare kare
Start by boiling the pork with water to remove the scum and some impurities. Remove it from the pot when it is halfway done and set aside. Separately boil the eggplant, green beans and blanch the bok choy and set aside.
Saute onions and garlic with cooking oil in a pan over low to medium heat until fragrant and translucent. Add in the pork and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes. Add in water, peanut sauce and annato/asuete powder. Simmer for 10 minutes or until pork is well done.
Put in a pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Adjust taste to your liking. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn flour and 1/2 cup water and add it in the cooking pot. Add in the eggplant, green beans and bok choy or pechay and simmer it for 10 seconds. Remove from the pot and serve.
Check out recipe card for exact measurements.
Kare Kare: Easy and Delicious
- Cooking Pot
- 750 grams Pork belly cut into cubes, about 1 inch size
- 1/2 cup Peanut butter sauce savory or unflavored
- 1 pc Eggplant sliced
- 3-5 leaves Bok choy or pechay
- 3-5 pcs Long green beans cut into 2-inch long
- 1 tbsp Annato or asuete powder this is for food coloring
- 1 medium-sized Onion chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp Ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Corn flour
- 4 cups Water
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil
- Boil the pork until halfway done and set it aside. Discard the water.
- In the same cooking pot, boil the eggplant and green beans until done and set aside. In the same pot, blanch the bok choy or pechay by dipping it in the hot water for just 10 seconds. Set it aside.
- In a pan, saute onions and garlic until aromatic and translucent and add the pork over medium heat. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add water, peanut butter sauce and annato powder. Stir, mix well and simmer for 10 minutes or until pork is done over low-medium heat.
- Add salt and ground black pepper. Mix it well.
- Mix corn flour with 1/2 cup water and add it to the pot. Mix it well.
- Add the eggplant, green beans and bok choy and simmer for 10 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
- It is best served with rice and shrimp paste.
Tips in Making Kare Kare
- The most obvious – do not use sweet peanut butter.
- Originally, shrimp paste is always the complement for kare kare. However, you can use salt to flavor it if you do not like the savory shrimp paste locally known as bagoong.
- You can add water to adjust the thickness or thinness of the sauce. If you want it thin, just add water. If you want it thick, just go on stewing for a few minutes until desired thickness is achieved.
- Stir and mix every now and then while stewing especially when sauce is getting thicker for you might burn the bottom of it.
- You can just add on top your veggies once you are done cooking.
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